Thursday, September 13, 2007

Back to Basics

People are probably confused why they now see me use an old Nokia 1100 and an even older Nokia 3100. I’m tempted to ask, what’s wrong with these phones, anyway? Friends are surprised to see me enjoy these two phones nowadays because they used to see me with high-tech phones and gadgets.

Barely a year ago, I carry in my backpack a small purse that contains, more or less, the following: a Nokia N70 (a craze at that time), a Sony Ericsson K608i, an HP1940 iPaq (with a wireless keyboard), a 6GB iPod Mini, and a Creative Zen Nano Plus. Also in the backpack are: Kodak digital camera, my 80GB external hard drive, two USB flash drives, USB card reader, USB port hub, three Phillips headsets, and an assortment of Cross, Parker, Sheaffer, and Inoxcrom pens. For safety reasons, my backpack’s zippers are always locked using two Master combination locks. Whew!

Fast forward to today.

I still carry the same backpack, and the same purse. (Grin.) But in the purse now are: two Nokias (1100 and 3100) and the iPod Mini. I still bring along the camera, external hard drive and flash drives, because clearly, they constitute a reasonable necessity. The card reader and USB port hub are either at the office or at home, but I have stopped carrying them with me.

There are new additions, though. (Big grin.) In my bag are my Starbucks 2007 planner, a personal journal that still needs a name (Grin. Grin. Grin.), and another notebook for what else, note-taking. (Big grin.) Also, there are more pens in my bag now, as I love to color code (and I love to hoard, according to Lilia). I purchased a set of three Pilot G-TEC-C4s (Bigger grin.) and a set of five HaloZee twin highlighters. Currently, I am drooling over the set of available-only-in-the-US Pilot G2 gel pens.

In terms of data management, I can say that I have truly gone back to the basics now. It didn’t take me overnight to do that, though, and quite a number of reasons contributed to this ‘historic’ change.

My iPaq. The PDA that is supposed to make life easier for me (and for others, too) only made things worse. I had an earlier version (1930) which worked well, and so I thought the 1940 will work along fine, if not better. But I was wrong. Sometimes it doesn’t synchronize with either my PC or laptop. At times, the battery is suddenly drained of power even after a full charge. But what busted my patience was when it didn’t turn on minutes before an important presentation at a staff meeting. All of my notes were in the iPaq, and I had to reconstruct everything out of memory. So after seven months of using an iPaq1940, I decided I had to part with it.

My 3G phones. Like so many Filipinos, I liked to keep up with the growing trend in cellphone fashion. So that when the first batch of 3G phones came in the market, I immediately grabbed not one, but two new handsets. For the price I had to pay for them, they were clearly a big investment. And so when the time for need came along, I was forced to ditch them and learn a hard lesson: I only need a phone that can send and receive calls and messages. Period. It was a big heartbreak for me and it was a lesson learned the hard way, but still a lesson, anyway.

Going back to the basics did not come to me overnight. And it obviously became possible through a variety of reasons. But for several months now, I have been immensely enjoying a less-electronically-constipated life. My Nike backpack is heavier with three notebooks and dozens of pens inside, but I have no regrets. Not one bit. It’s a little tough for my back, but the satisfaction I get when I read my notes and journal entries is indescribable. Call it OA, but it's an amazing experience. I admit missing TextTwist and Bejewelled in the iPaq, but I guess I'll just consider it one among my life's big (and not-s0-big) trade-offs.

For now, at least. (Biggest grin.) Tomorrow is another day.

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